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October 1 Is National Child Health Day: A Promotion Kit, "Just for Kids" Materials, and Fact Sheets Are Available

9/27/2001:   Children and youth with special health care needs (CSHCN) are those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.

To raise awareness and support for community-based services for CSHCN and their families, join professionals concerned with maternal and child health, as well as media, youth, and people nationwide in activities focusing on National Child Health Day, Monday, October 1. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has chosen as this year’s theme: All Aboard the 2010 Express: A 10-Year Action Plan.

Information and a promotion kit are available online at http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/html/expresshome.htm.; materials also can be ordered by telephone at 888/434-4624. A brochure, a poster, and fact sheets on six goals can be downloaded. The promotion guide gives both helpful general advice and specific instructions on publicity, planning special events, working with local media, and ensuring community awareness of CSHCN and other themes. Fun Stuff for Kids provides three pages of activities and games for children ("Ride the Rails to Adventure," a word scramble, and a word search).

The theme of CSHCN and their families addresses portions of the objectives of Healthy People 2010, an initiative of DHHS to establish a new overall model of family-centered, culturally competent, community-based systems of services that are comprehensive and coordinated. Public programs, professional organizations, parent/family leadership organizations, voluntary organizations, and elected officials are all partners in the initiative. In December 2001, six-month data will be available from a national survey on CSHCN; state-level data will be available in October 2002. The MCHB website also has information on the National Summit on Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs and Their Families, planned for December 12–13, 2001, in Washington, DC.

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